Skip to content

Bourque: Lundqvist hasn’t been better than Tokarski

May 28, 2014, 8:57 AM EDT

Dustin Tokarski Getty Images

When Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was hurt in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final and ruled out for the rest of the series, Montreal’s chances of beating the New York Rangers seemingly plummeted. In his absence, the Canadiens put 24-year-old rookie Dustin Tokarski up against one of the best netminders in the league in Henrik Lundqvist.

Instead of this playing out as the mismatch it appeared to be, the Canadiens are 2-2 without Price.

“Everybody talks about how (Lundqvist’s) a great goalie. Has he been better than Ticker (Tokarski) this series? I don’t think so,” Montreal forward Rene Bourque said after scoring a hat trick last night, per ESPN.com.

But is the fact that they’ve been even praise for Tokarski or criticism against Lundqvist? It would be easy to question Lundqvist’s play the night after he got pulled, but he’s also one of the main reasons the Rangers have a 3-2 series lead. So while he readily accepted his share of the blame last night, it’s important to not to let that completely sour the good he has done.

Meanwhile, Tokarski has been a bit of a mixed bag. He’s made some great saves, but he’s been far from perfect. Although Montreal’s defense deserves some of the blame for the four goals he allowed on 27 shots on Monday.

He probably could have done more on the first goal against Derek Stepan for example, but Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges appeared to deflect the Rangers’ second goal into his own net and Tokarski didn’t get much help from his teammates on Stepan’s second marker.

At the end of the day, both goaltenders could certainly do more, but Lundqvist is the one that more is expected from.

  1. lowenni - May 28, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    He’s not right, but at the same time he’s not wrong…

    • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      Just stop.

      • lowenni - May 28, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        gofckyourself.

      • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        Tanarsky is a journeyman AHL goaltender. He ain’t even worthy enough to shine King Henrik’s crown.

      • theageofquarrel - May 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        What crown? The dude has won NOTHING

  2. jkay1818 - May 28, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    it’s insane how much and often this team talks. The fans, coaches, players. Way way too chatty.

    • lowenni - May 28, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      I can somewhat understand it just because of the hockey media frenzy that is Montreal..I’m sure they’re constantly being asked questions and getting bombarded–that being said, they should be able to control their mouths a bit better. Looks bad for such a historic organization.

    • billiam55 - May 28, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      it all starts with coaching. and uve seen Therrien in this series.

  3. argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    I’ve never seen a more classless team in sports. It starts with their head coach and trickles down to their players all the way down to their ignorant fans. Just a bunch of whiners, cheaters and dirty players. Lundqvist is the best goalie in the world. Maybe Bourque should worry more about practicing his diving like the rest of his teammates.

    But, hey, thanks for the bulletin board material, Bourque. No doubt Lundqvist and the rest of the team will use this to fire them up heading into Game 6.

    • avscup - May 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Right…because the Rags are just oozing class. They don’t play dirty, don’t go to their opponents game day skates, AV doesn’t talk and their are no ignorant NY fans.

      Best Goalie in the world? Funny you would mention that about a goalie with no Stanley Cups or Olympic Gold the morning after he was pulled for playing so great!

      Hard to take you seriously so do what your name says!

      • jkay1818 - May 28, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        hard to take you seriously by saying lundqvist doesn’t have an olympic gold.

      • avscup - May 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        2006 Turin. Just seeing if you are paying attention. He was 24. He’s very good…most of the time. worlds best? Meh!

      • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        I stopped reading or caring about anything you had to say as soon as I saw your screen name.

      • avscup - May 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Thanks for the reply though nitz,

      • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        You’re embarrassing yourself. Just stop.

      • sticks169 - May 28, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        And you are proud of the Montreal dive team? I do not know how a supposed “hockey hotbed” can be ok with and stand by a team that can’t play a game without flopping like a fish to the ice. It is hilarious the way the team’s fans talk about class and then root for the sad state of Montreal hockey which is showing a true lack of class in this series. Oh, and by the way, as stated so perfectly by argofckyourself above, it starts at the top with the classless pos coach and trickles down. What self respecting coach in this league would put up with this crap except for him? Yeah, be proud of that team, you all belong together.

      • avscup - May 29, 2014 at 9:03 AM

        Sorry Sticks, not a fan of the diving, nor the blindside hits. Both teams have their share of issues. Neither team has any class! PERIOD. Many of you Rags fans are just as pathetic. The WC finals are classy! Those teams are gonna eat up the lame, slow, diving brand of girly hockey being played in the East!

    • joey4id - May 28, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      hahahaha! I guess you’ve not seen much in your…. 12 year life time??? Just kidding! Have you ever seen Mike Milbury when he went into the stands? What about Detroit Pistons bad boys era? Broad Street Bullies mean anything to you?

      Bulletin board material? Seriously! Everybody who has just a basic knowledge of hockey can see that Tokarski is out playing the “best goalie in the world”.

      • avscup - May 28, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Unless you have you’re blue blinders on.

      • joey4id - May 28, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        blue binders for sure. :-)

  4. bigblueapple - May 28, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    You’re right. They need to stop chatting and start spearing, headbutting, snow showering Rangers youngsters and making direct hits to the head. That’s the way to do it. The Habs will never match the Rangers unrivalled class and integrity.

    • jkay1818 - May 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      “youngsters”, ok gramps. What were the habs like in the old days? tell us about the good ole days when tickets were a quarter and the canadiens won all their cups because there were six teams and if you were french had to play for montreal only.

    • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      You’re kidding, right? Montreal has gotten away with murder in this series. I’ve lost count of how many dirty hits and slew foots those French pastries have thrown in this series, yet they go down like they got shot by an AK-47 every single time an opposing stick comes within five feet of them. I can’t wait to hear the league’s explanation as to why John Moore will wind up getting more games than Prust when he undoubtedly gets suspended today, other than the fact that Prust plays for the beloved Canadiens and Moore plays for a team Bettman despises.

      • bigblueapple - May 28, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        You don’t have to be elderly to call an 8 year old a youngster. Also the Rangers have repeatedly crashed Habs goalies and everyone knows that Moore’s hit was WAY worse (except Rangers homers). Furthermore the behaviour of Dorsett is on another level of dirtiness the likes the world has never seen… Think whatever you like though. You have every right to be upset. But it’s at the wrong team. Bottom like is, the Rangers should have two suspensions incoming and the Habs should have none and Prust back next game (like it or not, that’s what’s going on in the real world).

      • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        Fans like you are why everyone hates Canada.

      • bucrightoff - May 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Hates Canada? Well if you hate Canada, by default, you pretty much hate hockey, cause we’ll take half the league and 85% of the elite talent back if you don’t want it.

    • bigblueapple - May 28, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      This had nothing to do with nationalism. You are ignorant.

  5. billiam55 - May 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    wow……….they really do love to talk. they win and they’re still talking.

    for the love of god, lets put an end to this Thursday night.

  6. feedmetherock - May 28, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Annnnnd the Rangers just got a guaranteed victory on the shoulders of Lundqvist in game 6. Like really? Why give any bulletin material or say anything. Guy is a 3rd line scrub who had 1 good game in the playoffs. He should shut his mouth and figure out how they are going to get the game back to Montreal. They are the ones with their backs against the wall. Not the Rangers. And yet he is still out jaw jacking and providing bulletin board material. Retard.

  7. canucks18 - May 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    How has it ever gotten to the point of goaltender vs goaltender? They have nothing to do with each other in the game. They try to stop pucks shot by the other team. If they play well they play well, they don’t “out play” the other goalie.

  8. Eutaw's Finest - May 28, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Let me preface by saying that I do not think Tokarski is better than Henrik. At all. Not even close.

    HOWEVER. All of you people bashing Borque and the Habs need to actually look at the numbers in this series before opening your collective mouths saying how moronic that comparison is. Here’s what we’re talking about IN THIS SERIES ALONE:

    Henrik: 12 goals allowed (10 even strength, 2 PP) on 136 shots. .912 save %
    Tokarski: 12 goals allowed (10 even strength, 2 PP) on 123 shots. .902 save %

    Yes I know Henrik’s save % is better. Numbers don’t lie. But you cannot deny the fact that Tokarski is right there with HL. And if you really want to get into the details, Tokarski has been hung out to dry more than Henrik- he’s allowed 4 of those goals on breakaways (1-0 or 2-1), while HL has only allowed 1 breakaway goal. As a matter of fact, all 3 goals allowed by the Habs in game 4 were all piss poor defense leading to odd man rush goals.

    AGAIN I CANNOT STATE ENOUGH THAT I DON’T THINK TOKARSKI IS BETTER. BUT… his level of play this series is matching Henrik without a doubt. Like I said, numbers don’t lie.

    • jkay1818 - May 28, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      I hear you, but add the fact that at least 4 or 5 goals have gone off of players skates, shin guards, gloves or chests against lundqvist. eg: briere goal in game 3, OT goal in game 3, patcioretty goal in game 2 etc.
      Montreal has also scored two goals this series when the have had too many men on the ice.

      • Eutaw's Finest - May 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        Yes and you could also point to a few Rangers goals off awkward deflections too, eg: Kreider’s game tying goal in game 3 with 30 seconds left.

    • stakex - May 28, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      He’s given up the same amount of goals, in less games, and with a lower S%. I fail to see how that’s playing at the same level. Also, Lundqvist has faced some breakaways in the series as well…. the difference is that he actually stopped most of them.

      • Eutaw's Finest - May 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Games played is erroneous. Shots faced is what matters. He’s only faced 13 more shots and given up the same amount of goals with a SLIGHTLY higher save %. If you’re nit picking those stats enough to say 1% variation in save % is enough to say they are not on the same level, you’re inserting a little homerism.

    • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      If you’ve watched this series at all you’d know that the comparison really isn’t even close, and it’s borderline insulting. Lundqvist has been bombarded with shots early on in literally every game in the series and he’s responded by keeping his team in it long enough that they could score a goal and capitalize in every game they’ve won so far. Without Lundqvist standing on his head, the Rangers would’ve been eliminated already. He absolutely stole Game 2 and Game 4, and he even made some huge saves in Game 1 that could’ve turned the game around early on if some of those shots go in. Montreal has easily dictated play in the offensive zone way more in this series than the Rangers have with the exception of Game 1. You can’t go primarily by shots faced, and the save percentage of course is going to be skewed after last night when Lundqvist wasn’t at his best. Show me a comparison of their stats between Game 2 and Game 4 and that would be more indicative of the way the series has gone.

      • Eutaw's Finest - May 28, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Games 2-4 for HL- 6 goals on 95 shots. .936 save %
        Games 2-4 for Tokarski: 8 goals on 96 shots. .916 save %

        So it deviates 1% point in favor of Henrik. So he has that going for him, but why are we excluding game 5 for Henrik just because he had a bad game? If you pull out an anomaly that goes against him, then shouldn’t you pull out an anomaly like 1 goal allowed on 41 shots in game 2? Looking at this series so far, that stands out big time- he hasn’t faced more than 29 shots in any game outside of Game 2. Just saying you keep it fair and take ALL games into consideration.

        And as for ‘stealing’ game 4, I think you can point to the terrible play of the Habs D as the determining factor- 3 break away goals on terrible passes in the neutral zone was the only scoring the Rangers did. Oh and a helpful crossbar in the final seconds where Hank was beat that would’ve ended the game.

        And I know you see Henrik standing on his head, and he has, but you’re completely disregarding what Tokarski has done. Do me a favor- look back over this series at PHT. How many articles do you see about Tokarski making an out of this world save? Or standing on his head? I see much more about that than Hank. And maybe it’s just because it’s expected of him now, as opposed to this kid coming out of nowhere and playing well. But the point I’m driving at here is that Tokarski is keeping his team in these games just as much as Henrik is.

        AGAIN- not saying he’s better. Just saying he’s playing very good hockey and is a half step behind HL in this series.

  9. stepanup - May 28, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Point is, this conversation can be had. Tokarski has given his team a win, and the teams are 2-2 in the four matchups. If Hank gives one of his grade A efforts (remember Penguins game 7??) then nobody will remember this commentary.

  10. homerx - May 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    It’s apparent that many of the Habs fans are not watching the games and getting their info 3rd hand. The best one is the Moore hit was worse than the Prust hit. Whoever believes this really needs to look at the replays closer and the time between the puck coming off the stick and the hit. Not to mention the broken jaw. You don’t get that from being hit in the chest.

    And watch all the PK footage, he is slashing and slew footing constantly and the refs let it go.

  11. pl4tinum514 - May 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    People always say that Habs fans are whiny babies…

    But what I’m hearing from Rangers fans in this series is disgusting. I’ve never seen a fan base blame refereeing and whine about every little minutia that goes on in a game like Rangers fans.

    You guys should be ashamed of yourselves, for real.

  12. rpiotr01 - May 28, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Lundqvist was good in game 1 and spectacular in game 2, IMO his finest game as a pro. Last night may have been his worst game since his last meltdown in Montreal 5 years ago. Other than that he’s been plenty good enough. In his favor he’s had a number of goals this post-season (not just against Montreal) bounce in off his own D men’s skates, sticks and legs, much more than the Rangers seem to be getting in their favor. He’s also let in some softies that went through his body or where he wasn’t playing his angles right.

    Tokarski has been plenty good enough as well. He had two glorious saves against St Louis in game 4 before surrendering the game winner. He’s also suffered from being over aggressive and let in some bad goals that way.

    Not exactly a great display of goaltending by either goalie, but certainly more was expected of Hank.

  13. thenorseman817 - May 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    What a moron way to give billboard material to the opposing team. Don’t worry though they’ll just embellish penalties and embarrass the NHL. By they way know wonder why the NHL is a 5th ratted sport gamenahip and officiating has killed this sport. NHL stand for No Hope Left…….. Fifth class citizens

Top 10 NHL Player Searches